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Beethoven with a Twist, for Double Bass: Il Signor Dragonetti


A distinguished double-bass soloist of his time, Domenico Dragonetti (1763–1846) had known such great composers as Haydn and Rossini; in Vienna, in 1799, he also met Beethoven, who asked him to play one of his cello sonatas on the double bass. Dragonetti chose the Second Sonata, and Beethoven accompanied him on the piano. When they finished, he ran to Dragonetti and put his arms around both him and the double bass! This collaboration resulted in Beethoven’s exploring further the capabilities of this instrument in his subsequent works.
Tonight’s concert features the Sonata No. 2 for Cello, Op. 5, played on the double bass as it was on that memorable occasion; the Sonata is preceded by Rossini’s Duo for Cello and Double Bass, dedicated to Dragonetti. The evening opens with six waltzes composed by Dragonetti himself, which are probably the oldest composition for solo double bass.

- Domenico Dragonetti: Six [out of 12] Waltzes for Double Bass Solo
Gioachino Rossini: Duo for Cello and Double Bass in D major
Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata for Piano and Cello No. 2  in G minor, Op. 5

 Nikos Tsoukalas double bass
Asterios Pouftis cello
Ai Motohashi piano